What is Keto?
Is keto a diet? is Keto a fad?....
Ketosis is a metabolic state, it's our natural metabolic state, it's the metabolic state we're born in and it's the metabolic state we've evolved in almost our entire existence, keto has been around as long as we have, so it's certainly not a fad.
A person who consumes a carbohydrate high diet is in the metabolic state of glycolysis, this means their body utilises glucose 'sugar' for fuel / energy. When we restrict our carbohydrate intake, the body utilises dietary & body fat for fuel, this is the metabolic state of ketosis.
In a state of ketosis, fatty acids are released from the fat cell into the blood stream and are sent to the liver where the liver converts them into ketones. These ketones are sent back into the blood and shipped to the mitochondria in the cells where the cells will use them for energy.
In simple terms, when ketogenic, we are swapping our source of energy / fuel from glucose 'sugar' to ketones.
Is Keto Safe?
Being our natural metabolic state, keto is perfectly safe. Becoming ketogenic improves insulin resistance and reduces inflammation, it is sought by many for it's ability to help lose body fat, but this is a side effect of living a ketogenic lifestyle, keto is a healing lifestyle, it allows us to heal and repair the body from the damage caused by the over consumption of carbohydrates and seed oils.
Should I be concerned about ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis is the body's inability to control rising glucose & ketones due to lack of insulin. A type I diabetic is unable to produce insulin in the pancreas. Insulin is required to drive glucose into the cells for energy. In the absence of insulin the cells are not receiving glucose for fuel, this in turn sends a signal for the body to ramp up ketone production as an alternative energy source. As glucose and ketones rise together, this creates an acidotic state which can be fatal!
However, in the presence of even the smallest amount of insulin, glucose is shuttled into the cells and ketone production is switched off.
Ketoacidosis only occurs in a person with type I diabetes with poor insulin management.
Ketoacidosis does NOT occur in a person without type I diabetes.
Does this mean a type I diabetic should not follow a ketogenic lifestyle? NO, not at all. A type I diabetic can still follow a ketogenic lifestyle as they are restricting carbohydrate intake so their body will require less insulin to drive that glucose into the cells, meaning they can slowly reduce the amount of insulin they are dependant on. BUT... Insulin should always be on hand, good insulin management is very important.
Can I eat too much protein on Keto?
NO! Eat as much protein as you like. Protein is the most important macronutrient. The fear of excess protein consumption within the keto community has been misunderstood. The theory is that excess protein consumed will convert into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is a natural process within the body that happens regardless of protein consumption which is DEMAND driven, meaning the body will only use it when it needs it. Excess protein does NOT convert into glucose unless the cells within the body require it to do so.
The only cells within the body that need glucose are the erythrocytes (red blood cells) for which the body will make when needed.
Should I worry about my cholesterol & saturated fats on Keto?
Let's start this one by explaining that cholesterol is ESSENTIAL for life! We can't live without cholesterol. We need cholesterol for cell formation, cell communication, nutrient absorption, nutrient transportation, for the production of our hormones it's essential for a good immune system and the synthesis of vitamin D.
Cholesterol does NOT clog the arteries!
In it's natural form, cholesterol is not damaging, even LDL is protective. LDL however can become damaging when it becomes glycated and oxidised, making it pattern B LDL. Pattern A is protective, pattern B is damaging.
So what causes our LDL to become damaged turning it to pattern B? Glycation through excess carbohydrate consumption and oxidation through seed oils rich in an omega 6 called linoleic acid, 2 things we remove when living a ketogenic lifestyle.
We should NOT fear cholesterol, we should be promoting a healthy cholesterol profile by reducing carbohydrate and seed oil consumption.
Why are grains bad?
Grains contain lectins, lectins cause intestinal permeability in everyone, intestinal permeability leads to leaky gut and autoimmune disease. Grains are breads, pasta, rice and cereal for example.
Lectins also bind to insulin receptors causing up to 5 times more fat storage than insulin itself.
Lectins also block a hormone called leptin, leptin is a satiety hormone that tells us when we're full, without this we tend to over consume foods as we never reach that point of satiety.
Why are vegetable oils bad for me?
Vegetable oils do not come from vegetables, they come from seeds and they are high in an oxidised omega 6 called linoleic acid. Excess Omega 6 leads to insulin resistance, fatty liver, obesity, cancer and oxidised LDL particles.